Friday, September 21, 2007

A Few from Christina Rossetti

Christina G. Rossetti was among the foremost poets of Victorian England. While in her lifetime, she was overshadowed by her more flamboyant brother, Dante Gabriel, the cloistered Rossetti's poetry is now recognized as among the most dramatic and stylistically innovative of her time. Among women of the period, she is perhaps outperformed only by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Best known for "Goblin Market," a much longer poem, I thought that a few short poems would be nice.

Cobwebs
It is a land with neither night nor day,
Nor heat nor cold, nor any wind, nor rain,
Nor hills nor valleys; but one even plain
Stretches thro' long unbroken miles away,
While thro' the sluggish air a twilight grey
Broodeth; no moons or seasons wax and wane,
No ebb and flow are there among the main,
No bud-time no leaf-falling there for aye,
No ripple on the sea, no shifting sand,
No beat of wings to stir the stagnant space,
No pulse of life thro' all the loveless land
And loveless sea; no trace of days before,
No guarded home, no toil-won restingplace
No future hope, no fear for evermore.
- 1855
Spring
Frost-locked all the winter,
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
What shall make their sap ascend
That they may put forth shoots?
Tips of tender green,
Leaf, or blade, or sheath;
Telling of the hidden life
That breaks forth underneath,
Life nursed in its grave by Death.
Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,
Drips the soaking rain,
By fits looks down the waking sun:
Young grass springs on the plain;
Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees;
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
Swollen with sap put forth their shoots;
Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane;
Birds sing and pair again.
There is no time like Spring,
When life's alive in everything,
Before new nestlings sing,
Before cleft swallows speed their journey back
Along the trackless track---
God guides their wing,
He spreads their table that they nothing lack,---
Before the daisy grows a common flower,
Before the sun has power
To scorch the world up in his noontide hour.
There is no time like Spring,
Like Spring that passes by;
There is no life like Spring-life born to die,---
Piercing the sod,
Clothing the uncouth clod,
Hatched in the nest,
Fledged on the windy bough,
Strong on the wing:
There is no time like Spring that passes by,
Now newly born, and now
Hastening to die.
-?
Mirage
The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
Was but a dream; and now I wake
Exceeding comfortless, and worn, and old,
For a dream's sake.

I hang my harp upon a tree,
A weeping willow in a lake;
I hang my silenced harp there, wrung and snapt
For a dream's sake.

Lie still, lie still, my breaking heart;
My silent heart, lie still and break:
Life, and the world, and mine own self, are changed
For a dream's sake.
- 1860


Enjoy! I welcome suggestions, so feel free to comment.

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home